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Earlier this year I highlighted monochromatic design and hypercolour as two of my 18 web design trends for 2014. There is a third way that lives inbetween these two approaches: choosing a limited palette and using different shades of colour.
Designers who go down this route typically choose one vibrant colour (and various shades thereof) and offset it against a neutral background. Sometimes two (or more) complementary colours come into play.
I thought I'd share a few examples, to hopefully provide you with a little visual inspiration. Many of these examples are, to my eye, rather elegant.
Corey Haggard's 'Select Device' works through a forest green colour palette...
Yasser Achachi's elegant design for this mobile app is one of my favourites. So pretty, and with such a limited palette. Shades of dark pink and crimson look lovely.
Frantisek Krivda's colour wheel appears to be diving to the bottom of the ocean...
Alexander Zaytsev uses the colours of a hazy sunset.
This monochromatic app design concept for Polaroid is absolutely gorgeous. The various shades of grey are offset with colour from the product imagery. A real shame that it didn't get past the concept stage, but top marks to Mikey Hu.
Alex Strasman uses a card-coloured shades of beige for the background, and darker shades for the text and iconography. A little texture works well here too.
Rajmund Kuhn dives into the green and blue spectrum, and adds a little fade.
A data visualisation app that seemingly mirrors the background imagery, along with more shades of grey and a dollop of fade.
This golf course finder app primarily uses shades of peppermint, offset with grey, while the scorecard switches into full-on hypercolour mode.
Tomas Jerabek's concept for think banking app cycles through shades a few of green.
Another app concept, which uses oranges and purples for the look and feel.
Amine Mounazil uses the colours of a hot sunny day for this weather app UI.
Weather App - Spring / Fall edition
Meanwhile, it appears to be colder in France...
Here's another lovely peppermint-based palette.
What do you think? Have you seen any other examples of visual design based around a limited colour palette? Do leave a comment below.